Yikes...what a title...however, as most of you know, I love to try & make a connection to what I love & correlate it somehow w/design. How DESIGN can help, empower & support whatever it is that you are doing, love and/or dream of. Right now, I'm hooked on Doomsday Preppers (National Geographic channel) which plays into some of the survival training I've taken (see what to do in case of an EMU attack!). And, as someone who's weathered a hurricane & is subject to the crazy weather in WI (snow, blizzards & the like) & soon to be the Carolina coast (hurricane again), I feel that design DOES play a part into how prepared you are & how you will "weather the storm" as it were.
Also, due to the economy & other threats to our physical well-being from foreign/domestic sources, how prepared we are in terms of food & even energy should all be taken into consideration. Do you stay or do you go? Do you have a plan as to WHERE to go if something happens? What if you aren't prepared & the grocery store has a run & all that's left is non-essentials? These are all things that you need to be aware of & prepared for in case something happens. A disruption in the food chain CAN happen & has. All anyone has to do is watch the news during a fire or hurricane evacuation. Look what happned on the East Coast after last summer's earthquake & hurricane...some places were without power for upto 2 weeks! Could you & your family survive?
So, it with all of this in mind that I start this new series on the CasaVerde radio show & this blog. Today's episode featured SECURITY & some tips on how to "view" your house as an intruder would & some simple tips to keep you safe. Here are some from David Morris & the Secrets of Urban Survival newsletter:
Around The House.
When returning home, do a quick check to make sure that your “castle” hasn’t become someone else’s “castle” while you were gone. Are any lights/windows broken? Are multiple security lights suddenly malfunctioning? Are pets responding normally? Is your door locked? Does your alarm beep like it should when you open your door?
As a quick note, during “normal” times, if you know that an intruder is in your house, your best course of action is to call 911 and retreat to somewhere where you can provide updates, descriptions, and take pictures.
On this topic, are your firearms secured so that an intruder won’t be able to find them and use them on you? If you don’t carry weapons, do you know where traditional and improvised weapons are near your door?
I LOVE fire extinguishers. Quoting Clint Smith, “Spray them with the white stuff and hit them with the red thingy.” Do you have plenty of metal fire extinguishers? New fancy compact fire extinguishers have their place, but it’s hard to beat the versatility of a big old metal fire extinguisher.
What is normal? Observe what normal is…for your neighbors, for your neighborhood. Cars, coming & going, etc. It will not only alert you to people and events that are out of the ordinary, but it will also help you get to know your neighbors better. You’ll quickly see who’s social, who races off every morning with a scowl on their face, who always waves and has a smile, etc. You’ll also see who notices you and who is oblivious to the world and completely un-aware.
I hope, if anything, this series of CasaVerde shows & blogs will help you at least become aware of what can happen & that you look at your home in a new way...One to protect you & keep you & your family secure in these uncertain times. As always, if you have a question or a suggestion on a topic you'd like me to address, contact me at email@example.com. Cheers!
With Cupid sharpening up his arrows for next week, women stressing about their date or lack of for the 14th, & men everywhere breaking out into a cold sweat over what to get/what to do/is it worth it...the Day of Love can be anything but that! So, in trying to keep w/the happy, loving thoughts that "should" encompass Valentine's Day, here's a re-print of some Feng Shui tips for romance-whether you are happily attached, single & looking, or happily UN-attached...Enjoy!
Feng Shui for Valentine’s Day
Yes....it's THAT time of year again where women idealize the "perfect" date and men panic...I jest, however, with Cupid about to fly into all of our lives in a little over a week, it's not to early to start thinking of some ways to implement a little more LOVE into our lives. OK, you say, why can't I just buy some chocolate & flowers....well you can (especially the chocolate!) AND you can also bring more LOVE into your environment through color and accessories.
Feng Shui for Valentine’s Day
As far as color goes, in Feng Shui (Black Hat Sect) there are 3 colors you can use to "activate" the RELATIONSHIP energy depending on your status (and while this applies for social & business relationships as well, the focus of this article is for romantic relationships):
RED-if you are in a LEGALLY binding relations (married, engaged w/date set)
PINK- if you are single & looking or dating
PEACH-if you are single & not looking for a relationship
***Integrate your applicable color into your bedding (pillows, throw, sheets), flowers, tableware (napkins, placemats) and wardrobe options.***
The element for the Relationship Area is EARTH. Think items made from the earth: brick, stone, clay, marble, semi-precious stones....(diamonds are always nice!). In Feng Shui, in the "productive cycle" (meaning ADDS TO) you want to use FIRE as well to "amp up the energy." Think candles, fireplace-anything that represents an open flame or fire. Shape for EARTH is a square. Shape for FIRE is a triangle (can also use star or pyramid...anything with points).
***Integrate this into your decor with stone figurines of couples or other things in pairs (2s), candles, or anything else that reflects light such as mirrors (display candles or flowers on a mirror base to "double" the reflection).***
Other ideas on how to incorporate this into your Valentine's Day decor include:
Applying Feng Shui to Your Menu
Romance is about sharing, loving & having fun. Think about cooking dinner together! (or at least ordering from the same take out menu!). Food needs to be shared and not too heavy (which will make you tired...you want to be energized!). Again, going along our theme of EARTH & FIRE-we are going for spicy and hot.
Shrimp Tempura w/ dipping sauce
Most types of shellfish (oysters, lobster)
Tuna Brochettes w/tempeh
Green tea ice Cream w/chocolate sauce
Crepe suzettes w/sambuca
Raspberries w/creme fraiche
***Remember the Sex & the City episode with Charlotte & Harry going to the French restaurant for their romantic dinner. They ate a 5 course VERY HEAVY meal which ended up making them sick it was so rich...Don't let this happen to you or you'll be remembering the night for some different reasons!.***
The most important tip though is for you and your partner/date, to have fun & do what is romantic and fun for you! If it's movies w/pizza, a romantic weekend getaway to Napa or somewhere in between-do what YOU like to do. Just remember to add some Feng Shui color to it!
Did you enjoy the tips on using Feng Shui in your menu planning? Stay tuned for updates on DeAnna's next book, Party Like You Mean It!
Enjoyed the article? Click the "Subscribe" button on my Examinerpage to receive updates on new articles I post. For more design or Feng Shui tips and advice, follow me on Twitter at @bantedesign and @deannaradaj.